Ciris: A Poem from the Appendix
By Boris Kayachev
ISBN 978-1-910589-81-6, ISBN-10
1910589810, Hardback, 2020, pp ix 197
The Ciris is a small-scale epic poem which relates
the myth of Scylla, daughter of king Nisus of Megara, who betrayed
her homeland for love and was transformed into a sea-bird, ciris.
It is one of the poems in the Appendix Vergiliana, a collection that
has been ascribed to Virgil as his carmina minora. Earlier scholarship
has mostly been concerned to prove that the Ciris is not by Virgil,
and then to demonstrate that it is a late and derivative composition
of little intrinsic merit.
The present book aims to bring the poem to the attention of modern
readers and to rescue it from ill-deserved neglect.
It argues that the Ciris was composed by a contemporary of Virgil,
a product of the golden age of Latin poetry.
The introduction presents detailed linguistic, literary and historical
arguments in support of this early composition date and also offers
a state-of-the-art account of the textual witnesses and the manuscript
tradition. The critical text and apparatus are based on a systematic
first-hand analysis of manuscript evidence as well as the rigorous
application of text-critical methods.
The new text, as close to the original Ciris as can be achieved,
includes over one-hundred and fifty changes from previous editions.
By engaging with textual scholarship on the poem from the fifteenth
to the twenty-first century, the line-by-line commentary provides
a comprehensive guide to the numerous textual problems, and is an
important contribution to the stylistic and linguistic analysis of
golden-age Latin poetry
Date of composition and authorship
Manuscript transmission and the text
CIRIS. Text and critical apparatus